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Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card vol. 1 by CLAMP (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 26, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

If you loved “Cardcaptor Sakura”, you will love reading “Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card”.

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© 2017 CLAMP – Shigatsu Tsuitachi Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Issue #1

WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED by CLAMP

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Comics

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Kodansha Comics

RATED: T

RELEASE DATE: December 19, 2017


Clear Card picks up right where Cardcaptor Sakura left off, with Sakura and Syaoran starting junior high school. With the Final Judgment passed, Sakura thinks school life will be quiet, but then all her cards suddenly turn blank! The mysterious new power she discovers will change how she thinks about her powers…


Way back in 1996, the manga group CLAMP wrote and illustrated the manga series “Cardcaptor Sakura”, which was serialized in “Nakayoshi”.

The manga series would last through 2000 and a total of 12 graphic novels (tankobon) were published by Kodansha and would be adapted into a 70-episode anime series.  And eventually captivating fans worldwide.

The original series took place in the fictional Japanese city of Tomoeda and focused on a ten-year-old girl named Sakura Kinomoto who accidentally released a set of cards known as Clow Cards from a book in her basement created and named after a sorcerer named Clow Reed.

Each card has special abilities and can assume any alternate form.  The guardian of the cards, Cerberus, chooses Sakura to retrieve the missing cards and with each card, she must battle the magical personification of the card and seal it.

The series introduced her best friend and second cousin Tomoyo Daidouji who likes to film her and also creates battle costumes for her, while her older brother Toya watches over her (and pretending he is unaware of her power).

The series also introduced Syaoran Li, a descendant of Clow Reed, who comes to recapture the cards for himself and at first an antagonist, starts to respect and support her.  Also introducing us to a transfer student from England named Eriol Hiiragizawa, who uses his guardian creatures, Spinel Sun and Ruby Moon to cause disturbances in the area.

Nearly 17 years since the end of “Cardcaptor Sakura”, CLAMP has created a new sequel titled “Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card” and focuses on Sakura Kinomoto as a junior high school student hanging out with Tomoyo and Syaoran (her boyfriend).

One day, Sakura has a dream of cards turning clear and seeing a mysterious cloaked figure.  Sakura goes to check her book to see the cards and all have turned clear and transparent.

What does this mean and who is the ominous cloaked figure?

 


Overall, the return of “Cardcaptor Sakura” will no doubt entertain longtime fans of the series.  Many people grew up reading the manga or watching the anime series, so the return of the series nearly 17 years later is pretty cool and CLAMP made sure to incorporate the elements of what made the first series entertaining with the characters now a little older and the mystery of the cards that she recaptured now turning clear and transparent.

There are other things that happen that I don’t want to spoil anyone but for the most part, if you loved “Cardcaptor Sakura”, you will love reading “Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card”.

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Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 2 by Katsuyuki Sumizawa and Tomofumi Ogasawara (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 20, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

For those who haven’t watched the anime series will find “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” to be a deep, complex but also action-packed mecha manga series and it’ll be interesting to see if the manga continues to be more action-driven or will it find a balance with more of a plot to help with the character development.

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© 2011 Sotsu-Sunrise. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers vol. 2

STORY BY Katsuyuki Sumizawa

ART by Tomofumi Ogasawara

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kodansha Ltd.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Comics

RATED: ALL

RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2017


“Our target is OZ!” is the rallying cry of the five young Gundam pilots that fell to earth like meteors. They begin to attack OZ facilities scattered around the globe. Trowa, in the Heavyarms, launches a fierce attack on an MS factory on Corsica, when suddenly the Gundam Sandrock appears, with Quatre in the pilot’s seat, leading a Maganac corps. The battle between these two Gundam pilots, who had been unaware of each other’s existence until they end up engaged in combat, takes an unexpected turn…


Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.  Trowa Barton had come to Earth from the L-3 colonies in the Gundam Heavyarms and launches an assault on the MS production factory on Corsica but there to confront him is Quatre Raberba Winner, pilot of the Gundam Sandrock.

Meanwhile, Heero Yuy, pilot of the Wing Gundam has stolen parts from Duo Maxwell’s Gundam Deathscythe and now Duo wants revenge.

We also learn about Chang Wufei, pilot of the Shenlong Gundam and learn of the struggles from his past.

All this and more in vol. 2 of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”.

What is “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”?

It was back in 1995 when an anime series titled “Shin Kido Senki Gundam Wing” aired in Japan. The sixth installment in the “Gundam” franchise, it was a series that took place in the “After Colony” timeline.

A different setting and an alternate universe than the well-known Universal Century (UC), the AC deals with events primarily “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” and its sequel “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz”.

The series is set in After Colony 195 and humans have colonized space and developed space colonies at each of the five Earth-Moon Lagrange points. On Earth, the nations formed the United Earth Sphere Alliance and this alliance has oppressed the colonies with their powerful military.

The colonies want to be free and scientists have developed a plan for revenge against the alliance with “Operation Meteor” and five teenage boys have been chosen and trained by five scientists and then sent to Earth with advanced mobile suits known as “Gundams” made from Gundanium alloy designed by each scientist.

The manga introduces us to these five teenage boys with the protagonist being Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei.

As the United Earth Sphere Alliance are aware of the attacks on Alliance soldiers, the Organization of the Zodiac (OZ) has their ace mobile suit pilot, Zechs Merquise to find the enemy.

We are also introduced to Relena Darlian, daughter of the Alliance’s Vice Foreign Minister. We learn how she found Heero Yuy, who had washed ashore on the beach neaer the spaceport and she had always wanted to learn more about him, despite him always threatening to kill her. But for Heero, he is more intent to destroy his Gundam before anyone in OZ can get to it and learn the technology.

As Heero points a gun at Relena, she is saved by Duo Maxwell and as for Heero, he is held captive by the Alliance military.

But before they could get any answers from Heero, Duo breaks Heero out and the two escape.

Meanwhile, OZ is planning to unleash their mobile suit, the Epyon.

Five different Gundam pilots, each with a different motivation.  Trowa Barton had come to Earth from the L-3 colonies in the Gundam Heavyarms and launches an assault on the MS production factory on Corsica but there to confront him is Quatre Raberba Winner, pilot of the Gundam Sandrock.  What happens when these two pilots and their Gundam’s confront each other?

Meanwhile, Heero Yuy, pilot of the Wing Gundam has stolen parts from Duo Maxwell’s Gundam Deathscythe and now Duo wants revenge.

We also learn about Chang Wufei, pilot of the Shenlong Gundam and learn of the struggles from his past.

And is a new group being created by Zechs Merquise, when he comes to the aid of Lucrezia Noin?


With the release of “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers”, readers who are not familiar with the storyline, may find it a different situation from the UC “Mobile Suit Gundam” storylines, especially if they have only read “Gundam Origin”.

The role has been reversed in the AC universe as Earth’s alliance are the aggressors and the colony who want to be free are the ones with specialized Gundam mecha suits.

The second volume can be described as a volume of chaos.

There is a lot of panels of fighting and things are so chaotic that it’s easy to get lose.   Writer Katsuyuki Sumizawa has a tough task of having to write stories about five Gundam pilots, let alone introducing characters from Zechs Marquise side that sometimes the storyline pacing becomes a little incoherent and you quickly realize the different writing stiles and character development when compared with “Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin”.

Different writing styles, both mecha/action-driven, many characters but one is engrossing and well-planned, the other is chaotic and incoherent.  In fact, you’ll find pages with a lot of action and then one word bubble.  And in this volume alone, then you get character development solely focused on Chang Wufei’s character that has much more of a plot going into his history and then leading up to his battle with Lucrezia Noin.

While I found the volume to be entertaining, considering I am a Gundam fan, I also found volume 2 to be a bit hard to follow at times.

But it’ll be interesting how the other manga will be and if they manage to give more character building stories with the other characters and showcase their origin but for now, it seems the focus is panels with pure action.

But for the most part, for those who haven’t watched the anime series will find “Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers” to be a deep, complex but also action-packed mecha manga series and it’ll be interesting to see if the manga continues to be more action-driven or will it find a balance with more of a plot to help with the character development.

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Shiver by Junji Ito (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

If you love horror and you love manga, Junji Ito is the master of horror manga.  And “Shiver” which collects nine stories plus one bonus story is a fantastic manga collection worth owning and reading!

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Image courtesy of © Junji Ito 2015. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Shiver

STORY AND ART BY: Junjo Ito

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Viz Signature/VIZ Media

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 19, 2017


A best-of story selection by the master of horror manga.

This volume includes nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself and presented with accompanying notes and commentary. An arm peppered with tiny holes dangles from a sick girl’s window… After an idol hangs herself, balloons bearing faces appear in the sky, some even featuring your own face… An amateur film crew hires an extremely individualistic fashion model and faces a real bloody ending… An offering of nine fresh nightmares for the delight of horror fans.


For those not familiar with Junji Ito’s work, his work such as “Tomie”, “Umuzaki” and “Gyo” are horror manga that no doubt gives you the goose bumps.

From creepy plots to hair-raising expressions of characters, Ito is appreciated by manga readers for his terrifying manga stories.

And now a collection of short stories are featured in “Shiver”, a collection of nine of Ito’s best short stories selected by Ito and also comes with notes and commentary.

Featured are the following stories:

  • Used Record – What happens when a girl becomes entranced to a song on vinyl capturing death?
  • Shiver – What is wrong with the girl next door and why are holes developing all over her body?
  • Fashion Model – A filmwriter is having nightmares and when the director hires a popular model that looks like a demon, what happens when they head to film scenes in the woods?
  • Hanging Blimp – Heads are floating around the city with nooses and are chasing their real life counterparts.
  • Marionette Mansion – Children of a father who was a puppeteer wonder if the puppeteer controls the puppet or is it vice versa?
  • Painter – What happens when a mysterious woman goes to a famous painter and has her paint her?
  • The Long Dream – A woman is in the hospital scared to die, while another man in the hospital is having dreams that are lasting months.  What happens when a doctor does his research on both individuals?
  • Honored Ancestors – A girl has amnesia and a boy is trying to help her gain her memories back.
  • Greased – What happens when a family has oil and grease all over their homes and how does it affect them?
  • BONUS UNPUBLISHED STORY: Fashion Model: Cursed Frame – What happens when the demon model returns?

You have to give a lot of credit to Junji Ito.

From reading “Uzumaki”, I gained an appreciation of creating creepy horror stories and for the most part, there typically is no hope for the protagonist.  Typically, his stories showcase a cloud of darkness over a city, town or individual and you see stories like this manifest in his earlier short stories as well.

If I had to pick my favorite stories, I have to first say that every short story featured in “Shiver” are very good and considering they were chosen by Ito himself, these stories are downright freaky.

The scariest would have to be stories relating to the scary fashion model.  I was reading this story (and the second bonus story) probably around 1:00 a.m., lights off, just my reading flashlight on and I was creeped out by the way he was able to draw her, a tall female figure with a long face and shark teeth.

And everyone reacts to her as most people probably would and say she’s creepy and sure enough, when they say it, she happens to be right there and her response is not so kind.  It’s quite violent and bloody.

Speaking of violent and bloody, one who is scared of seeing depicted bloody scenes or body parts strewn around, have been cautioned because this book does feature some gnarly artwork on certain panels.

Even with taking something so basic and turning it into a horror story is quite creative as Ito takes “oil” and showcases a family where grease and oil is everywhere around and it starts to get in their clothes, their skin (giving one acne) and so much more.  It’s quite disgusting and probably while not plausible, it made me think for a little while of my deceased grandfather’s apartment reeking of smoke from him smoking cigarettes and just walking into the home for a few minutes, you would come out smelling like cigarettes.

For “Greased”, it was similar but it dealt with grease and the family would eventually be consumed by it in a deadly kind of way.

And I won’t discuss anymore because these stories are meant to be read and enjoyed.  And for some, creep you to the point where you may want to pee in your pants.

But know that if you love horror and you love manga, Junji Ito is the master of horror manga.  And “Shiver” which collects nine stories plus one bonus story is a fantastic manga collection worth owning and reading!

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Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 26 by Shinobu Ohtaka (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The storyline has built up for many, many volumes for this battle that many readers have anticipated. How it was going to go down, no one knew but after reading this volume, this build up for an intense battle against Hyakuryu and Judar was no doubt entertaining and action-packed. Overall, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” vol. 26 is highly recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2009 Shinobu Ohtaka. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic Vol. 26

STORY AND ART BY: Shinobu Ohtaka

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Sunday

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2017


Gyokuen, the current Empress of Kou, continues to drive much of the turmoil that has upset the balance of power among nations. Alibaba and Aladdin head for the Kou Empire to try to speak to Hakuryu, but their friend has become one of the Fallen, consumed by his thirst for revenge. What will become of the Kou Empire and of the world now?


The kingdom is headed to an all out war.    Hakuryu has been consumed by darkness and with his magi Judar, his first goal is to kill his evil mother Gyokoen and next, he has his eyes set on Lord Koen.

Meanwhile, Alibaba and Aladdin travel to Rakusho, the Capital of Kou in hopes to stop Hakuryu from all this madness, but instead it becomes a heated battle between between Alibaba vs. Hakuryu and Aladdin vs. Judar.

Who will emerge triumphant from this battle?

All this and more in the 26th volume of Shinobu Ohtaka’s hit manga, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic”!

What is “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic”?

When it comes to opportunities of becoming a manga writer/artist (mangaka), Shinobu Ohtaka’s story.

She has written about her story of how she became a manga artist, as a person who was the person who would sit quietly in the corner of class and was not really great at anything and often playing a supporting role. But if there was one thing that she was confident in, it was drawing pictures.

Her first year in high school, she was submitting manga manuscripts because it was her dream to become a manga author. And like many writers, her submissions were denied and this continued through high school and college. And when she was about to call it quits, she was given the opportunity to do a one-shot and it led to the creation of the series “Sumomo Momomo” in 2004 which would eventually become 22 volume manga series and also a 22-episode anime series.

After completing “Sumomo Momomo”, Shinobu then created “Magi” which would be serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday in 2009 and to this day, the series is till ongoing (currently, at 17 volumes) and an anime adaptation which was aired in Japan in Oct. 2012 – March 2013 and a new second season which has aired in Japan.

In volume 24 of “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic”, the story introduces readers to the distant past. David has abandoned his base to attack the others and people are worried if they would survive.

Solomon wants to ensure his wife, the pregnant Falan will survive and so Solomon and one of the great (yet no confident) magoi users, Ugo try to stave off the attack. But when they leave the barrier, they find some of their own outside the barrier burned to death.

In order to save others, Solomon makes the decision to sacrifice himself but to also split his power and divide them among the intelligent beings.

But we see what this sacrifice has done in the long run but most importantly, how this decision would affect the young Aladdin.


The main characters of “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” are:

    • Aladdin – A young magi who doesn’t know too much about himself or the outside world. But he’s kind and goodhearted and wants to protect the people he cares about. When he blows into a flute, a headless blue giant named Ugo comes out.
    • Alibaba – A thief who appears to have a mysterious background that befriends Aladdin.
    • Morgania – A slave who comes from a country of people known for their superior leg strength and speed. She is the slave of the tyrant, Lord Jamil.
    • Amon – A djinn with fire elemental powers contained in Alibaba’s training sword.
    • Sinbad – The King of Sindria and leader of the Alliance of the Seven Seas. He has sailed the seven seas and captured seven dungeons and is a master of seven djinn.
    • Masrur – A Fanalis who works for Sinbad and trains Morgiana in hand to hand combat.
    • Ja’far – A former assassin who becomes loyal to Sinbad.
    • Hakuryuu Ren – The fourth prince in the Kou Empire who becomes an ally of Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgianna but has gone a major transformation.
    • Judar – An evil Magi working for Al-Thamen. Raised by Al-Thamen after the organization killed his parents

We have read for volumes of how Judar is evil, while Aladdin is the naive but respectful young magi and watched as Aladdin and Alibaba have grown together.  Taking on various adversaries but also having to watch as their once companion and friend, Hyakuryu has worked hard to become a leader.

But unfortunately, that drive for power has consumed Hyakuryu and by making Judar his magi, he has descended into pure darkness and has been wanting to take over the kingdom and mold it to his own way.  Controlling everyone to do what he wants and he has literally become evil.

Aladdin and Alibaba are not aware of how much he has descended and so they want to make one peaceful reunion with him and to stop an all-out war.  But by doing that, Haykuryu has declared Alibaba and Aladdin his enemies and immediately tries to slay them on the spot, leading to one of the most heated battles that one will read in “Magi: The Labyrinth”.

It’s one thing to see a shocking, violent death of a character in the first few pages but this battle between Alibaba vs. Hyakuryu and Aladdin and Judar is just intense and it will no doubt carry on to volume 27.

This was no doubt one of the most shocking volumes I have read thus far of the series.

The artwork and storytelling by Shinobu Ohtaka is magnificent and the storyline has built up for many, many volumes for this battle that many readers have anticipated.  How it was going to go down, no one knew but after reading this volume, this build up for an intense battle against Hyakuryu and Judar was no doubt entertaining and action-packed.

Overall, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” vol. 26 is highly recommended!

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Black Clover vol. 9 by Yuki Tabata (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you love action, humor and a manga series that features a lot of characters (similar to “Shonen Jump” titles such as “Bleach”, “Naruto”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “One Piece”), Yuki Tabata’s “Black Clover” is highly recommended! It’s a manga full of heart, hope and action!

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Image courtesy of © 2015 by Yuki Tabata. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Black Clover vol. 9

STORY AND ART BY: Yuki Tabata

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Shonen Jump

RATED: T for Teen

Available on November 7, 2017


With the battle for the water temple finally over, the Black Bulls return home to the Clover Kingdom as heroes. But more trouble is on the horizon when the Diamond Kingdom launches an invasion! Can Yuno and the Golden Dawn repel the invading mages?


It’s the conclusion of the battle between Asta and Vetto of the Eye of the Midnight Sons.  While Vetto plans to destroy everyone with despair, Asta’s suffers major injuries, but will he be able to defeat Vetto in his state?

Meanwhile, the Diamon Unit has attacked the town of Kiten.  Why is the Diamond Kingdom on the attack?  And will Yuno and the Golden Dawn be enough to take down the generals of the Diamond Kingdom?

Find out what happens in vol. 9 of Yuki Tabata’s hit manga series, “Black Clover”!

What is “Black Clover” about?

In 2015, Yuki Tabata made his debut with the manga series “Black Clover”.

Serialized in Shueisha’s “Weekly Shonen Jump”, with a total of seven volumes published in Japan (as of August 2016), the first volume is available in the US courtesy of Viz Media.

“Black Clover” revolves around two orphans, Asta and Yuno.

Yuno is the wielder of the four-leaf grimoire and has the power of wind-based magic and has great potential.

Meanwhile, no one sees Asta as one with potential as he has no magic powers at all and he talks about one day becoming the Wizard King, which makes many people laugh.

But Asta uses his fighting prowess and physical strength in order to make him stronger and he is determined. One day, a grimoire shows up for Asta during a battle and he immediately becomes the wielder of the five-leaf clover grimoire.

But because he is not a magic wielder, he is seen as the lowest of the magic knights.

As Yuno becomes a member of the Golden Dawn Squad, Asta is assigned to Yami Sukehiro’s Black Bull Squad, known as the worst squad of the Magic Knights.

How will Asta do on missions with his team of misfits?

In vol. 9, Asta must do all that he can to defeat Vetto of the Eye of the Midnight Suns.  Vetto is intent of destroying people with despair.  With his arms scorched and bones broken, can Asta manage to defeat Vetto in his state?

Also, generals of the Diamond Kingdom leads an attack on the town of Kiten.  The Golden Dawn answers the call to take them on but can Yuno and the others defeat them?


With the ninth volume of “Black Clover”, in some ways, the manga returns back to its roots, back when Asta and Yuno were featured.

In the case of the first storyline, it concludes the Asta vs. Vetto storyline as Asta is probably in the most busted up state we have ever seen him, but his determination is always strong.  Can he defeat Vetto with his arms pretty much in the terrible shape?

And in the second storyline, we see Yuno and his Golden Dawn team trying to protect the town of Kiten from the onslaught of the Diamon Kingdom’s army.  And we get to see Asta and Yuno reunite briefly, which will no doubt entertain fans.

But the next storyline will no doubt focus on Asta’s injuries, as he suffers terrible injuries that he may never heal from.  But where most people may give up, for those who have read “Black Clover” through volume 9 will already know, Asta never gives up.  He always finds a way!

So, this ninth volume is action-packed throughout!  We also get to see who’s behind the mask for Vangeance and we get to see how Finral and his brother Langris are.

If I had to say anything negative, which I really don’t but if I had to think of one thing that may be problematic for a few readers, I think the sheer amount of characters featured may confuse some people, because “Black Clover”, similar to a story like “Naruto” or even “Fairy Tail” includes many different factions, guilds or units, per se.  And with that, it means many characters will be featured.  And this ninth volume features many characters.

As far as Tabata’s character designs and artwork for “Black Clover”, Yuki has a pretty cool style of character designs and I found his art style unique, fresh and great to see.

He definitely manages to fit a lot into a panel. And the fact that the art is by him and he writes the stories, it’s going to be interesting to see how far he’ll take this series. Definitely a mangaka with plenty of potential and a series that can really become a long-lasting manga series.

Overall, if you love action, humor and a manga series that features a lot of characters (similar to “Shonen Jump” titles such as “Bleach”, “Naruto”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “One Piece”), Yuki Tabata’s “Black Clover” is highly recommended!  It’s a manga full of heart, hope and action!

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Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future Vol. 1 by Fujiko F. Fujio (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Doraemon” is a delightfully fun manga series and I could only hope Shogakukan does more, as so far, they have done English comics of “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” and “Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu”.  If you want a lighthearted manga series and if you are a Japanese person learning English or a person that reads English and wants to learn Japanese through manga, definitely give these Shogakukan English Comics a chance!

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© 2012 by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Fujiko F. Fujio

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shogakukan

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Shokakukan English Comics

RATED:  N/A

RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2002


このイングリッシュコミックスは、てんとう虫コミックス「ドラえもん」のふき出しに英文、コマの外に日本語を併記してあります。対訳付きですので、中学生から大人まで幅広く楽しめます。順次刊行予定です。


It was back in 1969 when Fujiko F. Fujio created the popular manga series “Doraemon”.  One of the best-selling manga in the world, “Doraemon” has sold over 100 million copies as of 2015.

Fujiko F. Fujio is actually a duo of two Japanese manga artists: Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko, who became partners in 1951 and adopted the name Fujiko Fujio in 1954.  The two ended their partnership in 1987, so there are individual works released under two different names, Fujiko Fujio A (for Abiko) and Fujiko F. Fujio (for Fujimoto).

While “Doraemon” may not have had the promotion as it does in Japan or in another countries, those into Japanese pop culture know how popular the character is, as Doraemon is a popular character in Japanese pop culture, as Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny is to American culture.

“Doraemon” has had success in comics, animation, films, video games and is no doubt a merchandise powerhouse that people of all generations still continue to purchase to this day, despite Fujiko F. Fujio’s passing in 1996.

In 2002, Shogakukan English Comics released “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” which was a way for manga readers to learn English, but also helps those wanting to learn Japanese.

The word bubbles are translated in English, but above each panel is the Japanese kana of what was said in English.

A total of 10 volumes were released of “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” and six volumes of “Doraemon Selection”.  And for this review, I am reviewing “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” vol. 1 from Shogakukan English Comics.

The manga revolves around a pre-teen boy named Nobita Nobi.  Nobita is not good with anything…sports, socializing, if anything, he’s quite lazy and naive.

But one day, Nobita is shocked when a robotic cat from the future named Doraemon and a male teen from the 22nd century come to visit him.  Doraemon explains that teen is Sewashi, the great-great-grandson of Nobita.

Of course, Nobita doesn’t believe it at first, but Sewashi explains to him that he is unlucky and would make things rough for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren due to his unlucky nature.  And so, he is leaving the robotic cat Doraemon to stay with him and help him.

Sewashi does give Nobita a hint of his future, that he would marry his childhood bully’s sister, Jaiko which shocks Nobita, consider he dislikes both Gian and Jaiko.

And so, Doraemon lives with Nobita in hopes to make his life better.

But due to Nobita’s laziness, each time Doraemon comes up with a gadget to help him, Nobita finds a way to misuse it and cause problems for himself and Doraemon.

Can Doraemon ever help Nobita to be a better person?


I’ve been a fan of “Doraemon” for many years and surprisingly, back when I got into Japanese pop culture, “Doraemon” is among one of the big name characters that there was sparse information of.

I am not surprised, considering Doraemon is considered a children’s character, along the likes of Anpan Man and I suppose one can equate it to Americans who grew up watching or reading Mickey Mouse books or animated films or probably even more fitting are the “Peanuts” characters, as we watch Charlie Brown often being helped by his friends or Snoopy.

But Nobita is more of the naive, clumsy and lazy type.  Each time you hope he grows up or matures, he often does something idiotic and misuses any positive device that Doraemon brings to him.

Overall, “Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma” is a magnificent manga for those who love cooking, cooking competitions and underdogs faced with the challenges of taking on the top chefs at a prestigious cooking academy. Highly recommended!

One chapter features Doraemon giving Nobita a pencil that will help him do his homework and get good grades.  But Nobita misuses it and starts doing people’s homework and brags about how smart he is but in truth, the pencil is doing the work.  And sure enough, Nobita’s bragging is overheard by Gian, who wants to steal the pencil for himself.

Another thing that Doraemon does is give Nobita a special bread that captures pages from a book and when he eats it, he retains knowledge of that page.  But when he starts neglecting his studies because he becomes overdependent on the bread, needless to say, eating too much starts to affect Nobita.

These are just a few things in the chapter but for the most part, “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” is an entertaining manga and the fact that people can learn English or Japanese from the book through manga is fantastic!

“Doraemon” is a delightfully fun manga series and I could only hope Shogakukan does more, as so far, they have done English comics of “Doraemon – Gadget Cat from the Future” and “Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu”.  If you want a lighthearted manga series and if you are a Japanese person learning English or a person that reads English and wants to learn Japanese through manga, definitely give these Shogakukan English Comics a chance!

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Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma Vol. 21 (Story by Yuto Tsukuda and Art by Shun Saeki) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

In vol. 21 of “Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma-“, it’s exam time and Soma and friends must take on unfair challenges and prove they have what it takes to overcome these challenge and create the best dish they can. Highly recommended!

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© 2012 by Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Food Wars – Shokugeki no Soma Vol. 21

STORY AND ART BY: Story by Yuto Tsukuda and Art by Shun Saeki

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2017


In the frigid north of Hokkaido, Totsuki’s first-year students face their greatest challenge yet—the advancement exams! Dean Azami sees Soma and the gang as resisters of his administration, so he hits them with everything he’s got, fair or not. Will the kids find a way to triumph over his shady tactics and advance to their second year, or will Azami freeze them in their tracks?!


With Azami Nakiri having taken over the Totsuki Institute as the new dean, his underlings are now trying to do all they can to get Soma and his friends (known as the Resistance Fighters) kicked out by putting up challenges that should be guaranteed to fail.

But for anyone knows Soma, he always finds a way.  But this time, they are to embark on the first two parts of their exams and in the first exam, Soma’s group must take part in a salmon challenge and are given bad salmon by Professor Hiroi.  With salmon season almost over and impossible to acquire fish that will meet the standards of the exam, does Soma’s team have any chance?

In the second exam, another professor puts up a noodle challenge.  But what happens when Soma’s team are “late” and all available noodles and no flour to make any noodles.  Can Soma’s team find a way to craft noodles for this challenge?

And just when you think the first two exams are tough, what happens when Soma and others find out that the third part of their exam is to take on a member of the Council of Ten?

All this and more in the 21st volume of “Shokugeki no Soma”!

What is “Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma” about?

In 2012, writer Yuto Tsukuda and artist Shun Saeki created their manga series “Shokugeki no Soma” which continues to be serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump”.

The manga was voted #3 in the Nationwide Bookstore Employees “Recommend Comics of 2014” in Japan and voted #12 in the 2014 “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey and continues to be a popular series in Japan.

With a total of eight tankobon volumes released in the U.S., Viz Media will be releasing the first manga volume titled “Food Wars! – Shokugeki no Soma” in North America in August 2014.

The series revolves around a young teen named Soma Yukihara who works for his father, chef Joichiro Yukihira, at their local restaurant.

Trained to cook at an early age and known for trying to combine various foods together as experiments, Soma has been known to cook dishes that make people feel they have tasted the best food ever to touch their tastebuds. But his goal is to someday beat his father in cooking.

But with landsharks trying to get control of the land to build condo units where the restaurant is located, one day while returning to the restaurant, everything inside is removed.

While Soma wants to rebuild, his father tells him that he will be closing the restaurant for two or three years to travel and as for Soma, he is enlisted in Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute where the elite of the elite attend and less than 10% of its students ever graduated.

But his father gives Soma a stern message, if he can’t make it at Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, he will never beat him.

Determined to prove to his father that he can graduate as an elite cook, Soma is still looked down by his fellow students and faculty because unlike them, he is not wealthy and his family did not own a four or five star restaurant.

But Soma is determined to prove them wrong.

In volume 21, Soma and friends are part of the Resistance against Azami Nakiri, the new Dean of Totsuki Institute.  The Totsuki Institute are doing all they can to undermine Soma and friends.

And now with the exams kicking into full gear, Totsuki Institute professors loyal to Azami are going all out to make sure that things go bad for Soma and friends by making sure they are not getting the best ingredients or no ingredients.

Can Soma and friends find a way to pass their exams?


As a big fan of manga series about food and the culinary industry, “Food Wars! -Shokugeki no Soma” is a series that I absolutely enjoy.

For one, you have an antagonist that was cooking since he was young, often experimenting on different foods, even know that all his combinations are not always successful. But he also was brought up in a family restaurant and has to attend a school of elitist who think their food is the greatest and that they are more refined because they are wealthy.

So, it’s pretty awesome to see how far these people will put him down and until they eat his food, their reaction, and probably this may be the best word to describe their reaction to his food as “orgasmic”.

With the 21st volume, if you thought that Azami and the new Totsuki Institute professors were unfair and harsh, now it’s exam time and they are really trying to make sure that Soma and friends don’t pass.

But one thing that Soma and friends have proven, no matter the challenge, they find a way.

But with the first exam requiring fresh salmon and a second exam where all noodles are depleted and Soma and team must create noodles, what are they going to do?

This is where being creative and skill comes to play because Soma and friends must be on their A game to pass their exams!

For volume 21, the storyline by Yuto Tsukuda has been nothing short of enjoyable. This is a fun manga that left me craving for more and Shun Saeki’s artwork is energetic, fun and the more suggestive artwork that was seen in earlier volumes are not too extreme (in terms of fan service and sexuality).

Overall, “Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma” is a magnificent manga for those who love cooking, cooking competitions and underdogs faced with the challenges of taking on the top chefs at a prestigious cooking academy. Highly recommended!

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The Promised Neverland vol. 1 – Story by Kaiu Shirai, Art by Posuka Demizu (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I can’t help but feel this is one of those manga worth reading and will no doubt have several twist and turns along the way.  For its first introductory volume, I’m absolutely enjoying this manga series!  “The Promised Neverland” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © Yakusoku Neverland.  Kaiu Shirai, Posuka Demizu. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: The Promised Neverland vol. 1

Story by Kaiu Shirai

Art by Posuka Demizu

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2017


The children of the Grace Field House orphanage have their happy lives upended when they find out they’re being raised to be fed to demons. Can they escape their fate before it’s too late?

Life at Grace Field House has been good for Emma and her fellow orphans. While the daily studying and exams they have to take are tough, their loving caretaker provides them with delicious foods and plenty of playtime. But perhaps not everything is as it seems…

Emma, Norman and Ray are the brightest kids at the Grace Field House orphanage. And under the care of the woman they refer to as “Mom,” all the kids have enjoyed a comfortable life. One day, though, Emma and Norman uncover the dark truth of the outside world they are forbidden from seeing. The children of the orphanage are being raised as food for monsters, and their loving caretaker is behind it all! Emma and the others plan their escape, but can they make it out before it’s too late…?


From writer Kaiu Shirai and illustrator Posuka Demizu comes the Shonen manga, “The Promised Neverland” (known in Japan as “Yakusoku Neverland”).

The manga revolves around an orphanage at Grace Field House and this is where Emma, an 11-year-old lives with her friend Norman and Ray along with three dozen orphans.

Life was delightful for these children as they have fun, grow up with each other, eat and play and also study but many love their mama, their caretaker Isabella.

The only strict rules that the children must abide by is to never leave the orphan grounds and not enter a building, because of the dangers of the outside.

Meanwhile, Emma, Norman and Ray are the top students with the highest scores at the orphanage and they also excel in other skills.  Emma is more athletic, Norman is more of a strategist and Ray is a skeptic but is very intelligent.

And their curiosity has led them outside of the orphanage and into the building they were never to go to, when they were younger.

But typically when a child turns 12, they leave the orphanage and are never heard back.  Possibly they are starting their new lives or having too much fun.

So, they thought.

One day, their friend Conny is told she would be leaving the orphanage.  At age six, she was always holding her stuffed rabbit, Little Bernie and while not great in her grades, she was your average normal girl.  And one day, she and mama leave the orphanage.

But Emma notices that Conny has left her favorite rabbit and she and Norman decide to go to the prohibited building to give Conny back her rabbit.

But when they sneak into the car to give Conny her stuffed bunny rabbit, instead they find a bludgeoned Conny with a rose on top of her body sticking out.

Emma and Norman are caught off guard and they see their mama, Isabella talking to demons and learn that the children are kept in the orphanage to be harvested as the demons eat the children.

Shocked and disgusted, the two run back to the orphanage and it was discovered by the demons that two children were there and they left the rabbit.

For Conny and Norman, their whole lives are turned around, now knowing the orphanage is just a harvest farm for children who will be fed to demons and their beloved mama, is actually a demon or working with the demons.

Bringing in their friend Ray, the three now must plan out a strategy to rescue the children and leave the orphanage.

Meanwhile, Isabella (Mama) must find which two saw the truth of what happened to Conny and take care of them immediately.


Reading “The Promised Neverland”, it’s one of those stories that you never expected to become so dark.

The manga starts out with happiness and young children having fun and are having the time of their lives and happy with their treatment and living with their caretaker, who they call “mama”.

But for the main protagonists, their lives are turned around when they leave the grounds to return a stuffed animal to their friend Conny, who is leaving the orphanage.  To find her dead and seeing demons discussing with their mama about the true nature of the orphanage, that it’s being used as a harvesting farm for humans to be fed to demons.

Needless to say, this changes the whole direction as we see Emma, Norman and Ray plan their escape.  Emma wants to rescue everyone, but Ray is more logical and knowing younger children wouldn’t survive and are best to stay in the orphanage, while Norman has come to accept that death may be inevitable and all he wants to do is protect Emma.

But wanting to develop a strategy to have them escape with the other children, while these three are the smartest and brightest, so is their mama, Isabella.  Who is trying to find which two were there and found out about the truth about Conny and the orphanage is a front used to harvest orphans as food for demons.

So, it’s a battle of wits, strategy and Isabella is one step ahead with technology implanted.  But can these three bright children find a way to beat mama and escape from the orphanage?

What a surprising but also refreshing manga series from writer Kaiu Shirai and artist Posuka Demizu.    The artwork is fantastic but also the writing, as characters are well-developed, while the dark storyline that captivates your attention with each chapter.

Overall, I can’t help but feel this is one of those manga worth reading and will no doubt have several twist and turns along the way.  For its first introductory volume, I’m absolutely enjoying this manga series!  “The Promised Neverland” is recommended!

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